You know that feeling you get when you are playing an ancient Germanic game from the future and possibly a perpendicular dimension to our own and you stop to think “wait a minute, what the hell is actually going on here?” well that dear reader is how felt playing Lichtspeer – Double Speed Edition.
For those in the know, this is far from being a new game; having first seen the light of day in 2016 on Steam and PS4 and a follow up release on Nintendo Switch towards the latter part of last year. Now it gets a shiny new release on the Xbox One family of consoles complete with multiplayer mode. The premise is simple; you are a Germanic Viking warrior given a Light Spear (I knew that German GSCE would come in handy one day!) which you aim and throw at waves of ridiculous enemies who want to rip your head off. Foes such as Hipster Ice Giants, Evil Storm Dwarves, Wurst Zombies, Kill Warlocks, Penguin Vikings, Fish!!!, and my personal favorite/nemesis, Das Walrus. And this is where I am at a quandary when I play this game.
If you have seen the trailer (and you really should) it’s fun, calling out the names of the enemies coming towards you in an ‘Allo ‘Allo style German accent (ask your parents kids) IS funny I don’t care what anyone says but that may be the one thing missing from making this a fun little distraction of a game to one which calls out to me to play it when browsing through my collection of games. It’s missing those elements from the trailer that make you think “yes! I need to play this game”. I don’t want to have to call out those funny names myself, I want the game to stand by it’s own insane notions and shout them out for me.
That aside, the game is not without it’s merits. The control system is easy, the learning curve is about as spot on as it could get and there are still moments of humor in there; just not as in your face as the promotional material would imply. It is, underneath all the craziness a spear throwing game. You stand on the left side of the screen, the enemies come at you from the right, you set your trajectory, your power and launch. If the enemies reach you, you die. The fun comes in getting headshots and stringing together tasty multipliers. Body shots are relatively easy to land and will take out most of the smaller foes however getting a head shot is what really boosts those multipliers and gives you that odd sense of satisfaction that comes with knowing you’ve skillfully taken out that pesky Wurst Zombie by removing its head.
It also has a nice mechanism to stop you spamming the controls by punishing you with a NIEN!!! (that’s “NO!!!” for those without the benefit of GCSE German) otherwise the game would simply be too easy; and there are as you might expect, end of level bosses, various game modes (including Rage Quit) and a decent range of weapon/shield upgrades to make replaying levels and getting extra spending money worth while. What the new Double Speer Edition also gives you is a drop in/drop out co-op mode whereby your couch based companion assumes the role of your spear throwing companion Das Wunder Hund (a flying space dog no less, because why the hell not) which believe me, can be really useful when tackling some of the latter levels in the game.